Book Reviews: Are You Ready For Your
Own Advisory Board?
Significant, sustainable growth for companies often comes disguised in a period of transition that stems from a short burst of growth or a change in ownership or management. Too often, companies are advised to adopt a formal board structure to handle the change.
Peter Williams’ new book, Are You Ready For Your Own Advisory Board?, provides excellent and much needed insights into the subject of corporate governance in Australia. The author has drawn upon his deep business experience from chairing more than 15 boards across 13 industries, helping to steer them through rapid growth, mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings, and strategic, financial and risk issues.
The transition period for companies can be a cause of unnecessary conflict, which can detract from operations and turn into a limiter of growth. As governance becomes more important, formal boards do not always create value because they can be overly focussed on this conflict at the expense of strategy and creative growth plans.
Williams’ frank discussions of these issues and the lesser known alternative of advisory boards is a welcome addition to management thinking and governance practices. He presents the 10 most common myths surrounding advisory boards and shares detailed research, such as the Business Development Bank of Canada’s study of 3000 private and family businesses which showed spectacular financial success after an advisory board was implemented.
With over three decades of experience in engineering, investment banking, and corporate strategy, including running and exiting his own multi-million-dollar management business, Williams is keenly suited to give advice on what it takes to run a successful business. He demystifies the steps involved in setting up an advisory board and how it can smooth the path to long-term business growth.